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Posted On: 12 March 2012 10:24 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Gitmo detainees shifting to Doha

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FIVE Taliban detainees held at the US Guantanamo Bay military prison are being transferred to Doha, Qatar, a move believed to boost the nascent peace process in Afghanistan. At the same time Afghan Foreign Minister is also scheduled to visit Qatar for talks with Qatari leaders on the shifting of the Taliban prisoners and opening of their office to pave the way for formal talks. It is a major development as there had been opposition in the United States and Afghanistan to the transfer of Taliban prisoners to a third country. The transfer idea is part of U.S. efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to avoid prolonged instability in Afghanistan after foreign occupation troops leave the country at the end of 2014. It would be one of a series of good-faith measures that could set in motion the first substantial political negotiations on the conflict in Afghanistan since the Taliban government was toppled in 2001 in a U.S.-led invasion. According to reports President Karzai’s top aide, Ibrahim Spinzada, visited the Guantanamo facility last week to secure approval from the five Taliban prisoners to be moved to Qatar. The development shows that the dialogue process with Taliban is in advance stage and a formula is being fine tuned. In this perspective it is high time that Pakistan should also find ways and measures to start the dialogue process directly or in directly with the estranged elements who have built their strong holds in the tribal agencies where they are not only fighting with the security forces but also sending suicide bombers and carrying out attacks in other parts of the country. Pakistan has suffered a lot due to war on terror and activities of the misguided people in FATA. According to figures coming out from government quarters, the country suffered huge losses of over $ 80 billion in terms of damage to infrastructure only due to this war. The Americans have been beating drums about their assistance of just a few billion dollars but they never recognized how much Pakistan has suffered in terms of economy and losses of human lives including more than five thousand troops. Now that the US and Afghanistan are holding talks with the Taliban it is time that Pakistan too through intermediaries and tribal elders persuade the militants to follow the suit of their allies in Afghanistan, come to the negotiating table and stop fighting with their countrymen as it is causing huge losses to them and Pakistan and not to the occupation forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan Observer